Quad has been responsible for many landmark hi-fi products throughout its history, none more famous than successive generations of the ESL – the world’s most revered electrostatic panel loudspeaker, a technology invented by Quad’s founder, Peter Walker.
To create the ERA-1 – the company’s first-ever headphones – Quad developed a planar magnetic driver delivering a fast, open and transparent performance. The resulting sonic realism and fidelity to the source is fully in keeping with the brand’s heritage, displaying qualities akin to the famous ESLs.
Most headphones use mass-produced dynamic cone drivers, the limitations of which can hamper transient response and cause uneven frequency response. Quad's cutting-edge planar magnetic technology delivers a more natural and accurate sound, ensuring you hear every nuance of the recorded musical performance.
The Quad ERA-1 incorporates an ultra-thin, electrically active diaphragm - thinner than a human hair yet extremely light, strong and highly elastic. This is fused with a precision arranged magnet array, designed to maximise sensitivity and consistency of the applied force over the driver area.
Patented non-linear vibration suppression technology allows the driver's effortlessly extended frequency response to be heard unsullied, ensuring perfect clarity. The metal cavity behind the driver is specially designed for optimal acoustic performance, and the drivers themselves are closely matched to ensure spacious, three dimensional stereo imaging. The result is that the ERA-1 provides a musically engaging, dynamic and effortless sonic performance that suits all music types.
When sound enters our ears, it has a planar wave front with all the spectrum components in phase. A typical dynamic headphone driver disrupts this coherence with its phase irregularities, resulting in less than perfect signal peak reconstructions,
Quad's planar magnetic driver has much better phase coherency, since all parts of the diaphragm are vibrating in concert without break up and delayed response. The driver's flat conductor pattern, with absence of inductive components, eliminates inductance-related intermodulation distortion - this is especially common in dynamic drivers with high impedance and a high number of voice coil turns.
Many planar magnetic headphones require high power amplifiers to driver them. The Quad ERA-1 combines high sensitivity with low impedance to enable excellent performance with a wide range of partnering devices, from portable audio players to high-end headphone amplifiers. Quad's valve based PA-One headphone amplifier/DAC makes a superb match for the ERA-1, combining sonic clarity and fluidity to stunning effect.
"The sound of the ERA-1 out of the box is warm and inviting and instantly reminded me of that classic “Quad sound” I fell love in with when it came to their loudspeaker designs which was all about midrange magic, the biggest difference here being the possession of much more authoritative bass than any ESL-57s could muster that I’ve spent time with. Detailed without being analytical, they present a wide, enveloping and cohesive sound field with excellent spatial separation.
This is separation of an instrument and vocal delineation variety though, the musical thread and holistic synergy of the electro tracks I used for initial listening displayed real bounce and drive regardless of what I was powering them with." Innerfidelity.com
Note: Features & Specifications Subject To Change Without Notice. E&OE.
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